Eilis Hennessy

Eilis Hennessy
University College Dublin | UCD · School of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

87
Publications
37,162
Reads
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2,150
Citations
Citations since 2017
35 Research Items
1265 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400
Additional affiliations
February 2017 - June 2017
University College Dublin
Position
  • Professor
January 1993 - present
University College Dublin
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (87)
Poster
This poster describes the findings of study exploring parents' information needs in relation to adolescent self-harm and suicide.
Poster
Full-text available
This poster presents the results of a study that documented the information needs of parents of adolescents who self-harm. A variety of methods were used including a rapid literature review, a survey of parents with lived experience of adolescent self-harm and a Delphi study with mental health professionals working with adolescents.
Research
Full-text available
This research explored the information needs of parents of adolescents who self-harm. There were three component studies: a scoping review, a parent survey and a Delphi study with professionals.
Article
This article investigates how families seek professional supports for adolescent social anxiety. Many adolescents meet diagnostic criteria for social anxiety disorder but do not access professional mental health supports. Access to timely interventions is important because social anxiety has a range of developmental implications and typically persi...
Article
Mental illness and its stigmatization is common among young people. The present independent groups experiment explored mental illness stigma on social media. Study 1 examined adolescents aged 13–17 (140 participants; 90 female). Study 2 examined young adults aged 18–25 (485 participants; 274 female). All participants read a vignette describing a ch...
Preprint
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a profound mental health challenge worldwide. The goal of this paper is to explore cognitive responses to the pandemic in order to better understand underlying beliefs for those reporting and not reporting symptoms of depression within the context of a period of realistic health, economic and social threat. This pa...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Parents do not always seek timely help for adolescents when the need arises. Although interventions to increase parental help-seeking have been evaluated and published, no systematic review of these interventions has been conducted. The aim of this systematic review is to collate, synthesise, and evaluate research on help-seeking interventi...
Article
Full-text available
Supporting an adolescent who has an emotional or behavioural disorder is challenging for parents. This article reports the findings of a qualitative study of parents’ perceptions of stigma associated with parenting an adolescent with a diagnosis of ADHD or depression. 40 parents (28 mothers and 12 fathers) took part in semi-structured interviews. T...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Many adolescents meeting diagnostic criteria for social anxiety disorder (SAD) do not seek help or access timely professional supports. The current study investigated two hypothesized barriers to adolescents' seeking help for SAD: stigma and SAD symptoms. Method: Three hundred fifteen adolescents (52% female; mean age = 14.85 years)...
Article
Full-text available
The psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been widely discussed during the past few months, with scholars expressing concern about its potential debilitating consequences on youth mental health. Hence, this research aimed to provide a systematic review of the evidence on the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on youth mental health. We conducte...
Article
Full-text available
Background The stigma associated with mental disorders in adolescence has a range of detrimental consequences, negatively impacting help-seeking behaviours and quality of life. Social anxiety typically has its onset during adolescence, but the associated stigma is not well understood. This study was designed to improve understanding of social anxie...
Article
Full-text available
Background: It is accepted that COVID-19 will have considerable long-term consequences, especially on people’s mental and physical health and wellbeing. Although the impacts on local communities have been immense, there remains little data on long term outcomes among patients with COVID-19 who were managed in general practice and primary care. This...
Article
Aim: This study aimed to examine the factorial validity and reliability of the Peer Mental Health Stigmatization Scale (PMHSS) in adolescents and young adults. Methods: Young people (N = 963) aged 12 to 25 years (M = 16.1, SD = 3.08) were recruited across two studies. Study 1 included adolescents (n = 776) recruited from secondary schools and st...
Article
Aim Self‐harm is common among adolescents and young adults and carries increased risk of suicide and other negative outcomes, yet only a small proportion will seek professional help. General practitioners (GPs) are a potentially valuable source of help as most young people visit their GP regularly for other reasons. The primary aim of this research...
Article
This case study explores the use of video vignettes with young people to explore the topic of depression labeling. Video vignettes were recorded using “actors” (12 male undergraduate students, 18 years of age or older). Four of the 12 vignettes were used during data collection as the stimuli to elicit reactions to depression from adolescents. Study...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction. The Multi-Dimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) is one of the most widely employed tools for measuring perceived social support from three sources: family, friends and a significant other. This study aimed to establish the factor structure of the MSPSS in young adults living with chronic health conditions (CHCs). It al...
Article
Despite the importance of self-regulation for school readiness and success across the lifespan, little is known about children’s conceptions of this important ability. Using mixed-method interviews, this research examined kindergarten children’s (n = 57) perspectives on self-regulation in a disadvantaged area in Dublin, Ireland. Children depicted s...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Publisher University College Dublin Link to online version http://www.ucd.ie/psychology/newsevents/news/latestnews/title,375112,en.html Item record/more information http://hdl.handle.net/10197/9671 Downloaded 2019-04-05T07:49:26Z The UCD community has made this article openly available. Please share how this access benefits you. Your story matters!...
Article
Full-text available
The capacity to self-regulate is a key developmental ability that has become a focal point for research across multiple disciplines. Yet interdisciplinary collaboration on self-regulation is rare and the term is often applied in different ways across studies. Drawing on literature from psychology, medical sciences, sociology, and economics, this ar...
Article
This study aimed to determine predictors of help-seeking intentions for symptoms of depression/anxiety and self-harm in adolescents. It focused on personal and perceived public stigma to gather data of value for the design of anti-stigma interventions. Participants (n = 722; 368 girls) were recruited from three cohorts of secondary school students...
Article
Full-text available
Many children and teenagers living with mental health problems experience stigma from within their peer group, yet this remains an under-researched topic in developmental science and the broader mental health literature. This paper highlights the limitations of adopting measures, concepts and theories that have exclusively emanated from the adult m...
Poster
Full-text available
Category labels strongly influence judgement and perception by increasing within-category similarity, and decreasing between-category similarity. The provision of continuum information can decrease this effect. Using these insights from the literature on perception, this study employs an experimental design, to examine the impact of the depression...
Article
Full-text available
A considerable amount of stigma-related health research has been conducted in school-aged and university students, yet few studies involved young people enrolled at further education colleges. The present study aims to investigate the role of social support on the consequences of stigma on general health and social functioning in students in Colleg...
Article
Full-text available
Mental Health Literacy (MHL) refers to knowledge and beliefs about mental health problems. Although mostly studied in adult samples, it has been associated with help-seeking intentions and health service use in adolescents. The aim of the present study was to explore depression MHL and its association with help seeking intentions in a sample of ado...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The impact of illness labels on the stigma experiences of individuals with mental health problems is a matter of ongoing debate. Some argue that labels have a negative influence on judgments and should be avoided in favour of information emphasising the existence of a continuum of mental health/illness. Others believe that behavioral sy...
Article
The aim of this study was to test whether an online social normative intervention would promote college students’ help seeking attitudes and intentions. To investigate this, a between-group, post-test, experimental design consisting of 207 students (69 males, 138 females), aged 18–25 years (M = 20.46, SD = 1.96) was used. Students who received the...
Article
Background: The first 2 years of life are instrumental for childhood physical development. Factors contributing to childhood obesity are difficult to determine; child care exposure is one to consider, by influencing food preference and physical activity development. Objective: To investigate the association of child care exposure with adiposity...
Article
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Previous research has suggested that the children of teenage parents are at a high risk of developing both internalising and externalising behaviour disorders. The current study aimed to explore pathways through which children of teenage mothers show more externalising and internalising psychopathology than their peers whose parents were older. The...
Poster
Full-text available
Introduction Development of the ability to regulate emotions and behaviours in childhood has become a focal point for research across multiple disciplines. However, the literature on self-regulation (referred to variously as self-control, executive functions, effortful control, willpower, impulsivity, etc.) lacks a coherent theoretical and conceptu...
Article
Full-text available
Adolescent depression is widespread, yet very few studies have examined the stigmatizing attitudes adolescents’ hold toward peers with depression. This study employs a theoretically driven definition of stigma, and explores a range of depression stigma predictors (gender, depression label, contact with depression, emotional symptoms, and essentiali...
Article
Stigma research suggests that exclusion of peers with mental health problems is acceptable, however, no research has explored young people's beliefs about the fairness of exclusion. Group interviews with 148 adolescents explored judgements about the fairness of excluding peers with ADHD or depression from dyads and groups. Young people evaluated ex...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about self-stigma experienced by young people with mental health problems, despite the fact that research has demonstrated its existence. In the present study, we sought to investigate the experiences of self-stigma in childhood and adolescence, and particularly the nature of change in self-stigma across this developmental period. Y...
Article
Background The nature of stigmatizing attitudes towards children and adolescents with mental health problems has received little empirical attention, despite consensus that such attitudes are widespread. As a consequence, much less is known about stigma in childhood and adolescence and methods of stigma measurement are frequently borrowed from the...
Article
Full-text available
Unlike the transitions children make between settings, those they undertake between age groups within early childhood care and education (ECCE) settings are seldom studied. Accordingly, this exploratory study followed seven preschool children (three boys and four girls) as they moved to new rooms in five ECCE settings. Structured observations of ch...
Article
Full-text available
Young people with mental health problems are often excluded from their peer group; however, research has not specifically explored their peers’ explanations for this exclusion. Drawing on data from group interviews with Irish adolescents (N = 148), this study explores the reasons offered for rejecting young people with mental health problems. Such...
Article
Brand knowledge is a prerequisite of children's requests and choices for branded foods. We explored the development of young children's brand knowledge of foods highly advertised on television - both healthy and less healthy. Participants were 172 children aged 3 to 5 years in diverse socioeconomic settings, from two jurisdictions on the island of...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding adolescents׳ perceptions of peers with depression is vital in order to tackle peer exclusion and lessen stigmatization. To examine adolescents׳ perceptions of a hypothetical peer with depression, we test an attributional model: that stigma towards persons with mental disorders is influenced by attributions about the causes of their di...
Article
Full-text available
Preventing child mental health problems and child obesity have been recognized as public health priorities. The aim of the present study was to examine whether being breastfed (at all or exclusively) in infancy was a predictor of mental well-being and protective against risk of obesity at age 9. Cross-sectional data from a large, nationally represe...
Article
Full-text available
Although Western mental health services are increasingly finding themselves concerned with assisting traumatized individuals migrating from other countries, trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are under-detected and undiagnosed in psychiatric populations. This study examined and compared rates of traumatic experiences, frequency of trau...
Article
Full-text available
While 3D movies and fantasy film genre rise in popularity, the empirical exploration of viewers' cognitive and emotional engagement with film is currently limited and entirely derived from laboratory-based studies of small samples. This study investigated the effect of stereoscopic realism (3D effect) on viewers' attention, emotion, and satisfactio...
Article
Full-text available
Growing awareness of the importance of healthy diet in early childhood makes it important to chart the development of children's understanding of food and drink. This study aimed to document young children's evaluation of food and drink as healthy, and to explore relationships with socioeconomic status, family eating habits, and children's televisi...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, implicit measures of attitude have emerged as increasingly important methods in research with adults; however, they have been used less often in research with children or adolescents. The present article seeks to initiate wider discussion on the potential for using implicit measures with young people by providing readers with an in...
Article
Full-text available
For a significant number of children attending centre-based Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) settings transitions between age groups are likely to be an inevitable experience. However, the literature on these transitions is remarkably sparse, with only a handful of studies contributing to an understanding of these times of change. To addre...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years there has been an increase in the use of qualitative data collection techniques in research with children. Among the most common of these methods are focus groups and individual interviews. While many authors claim that focus groups have advantages over individual interviews, these claims have not been tested empirically with childr...
Article
The paper presents an overview of publications during the past twenty-five years in the area of child psychology and child and adult development by researchers based in Irish institutions or using an Irish sample. Papers were identified through searches of the PsycLit and ERIC electronic data bases. In the period since 1974 there were over 300 publ...
Article
Full-text available
Saliva offers developmental researchers and pediatric clinicians significant opportunities to measure numerous biological markers. However, many preschool-aged children refuse to participate in saliva collection. Identifying collection methods known to be acceptable to participants may help in maximizing participation. To this end, this study aimed...
Article
Full-text available
Historical developments of cinema technology have contributed to the apparent reality of movie-goers’ experience. The current study uses both self-report and physiological measures (heart-rate, skin conductance, skin temperature) as indices of 29 participants’ negative emotional arousal, so as to investigate the effect of increasing a movie's perce...
Article
Background: Children and adolescents with mental health problems are widely reported to have problems with peer relationships; however, few studies have explored the way in which these children are regarded by their peers. For example, little is known about the nature of peer stigmatisation, and no published research has investigated implicit atti...
Article
Full-text available
Parenting a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a challenging experience. The hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention of a child with ADHD often put parenting skills to the test. The present study thus aimed to explore the experiences of parents of children with ADHD in Ireland. Eighteen parents of 7–12-year-old boys wi...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last two decades, interest in salivary research in the social sciences has grown rapidly. Salivary research is appealing as a quick, inexpensive and non-invasive means of determining a range of biological markers, which offer insight into a variety of human responses, for example, stress. To the social researcher these advantages provide e...
Article
Research suggests that children's reactions to peers with mental health problems are related to the maintenance and outcomes of these problems. However, children's perceptions of such peers, particularly those with internalising problems, are neither well researched nor understood. The present study aimed to test a series of models relating socio-d...
Article
Full-text available
The peer group begins to become a source of support during late childhood and adolescence making it important to understand what type of help young people might suggest to a friend with an emotional or behavioral problem. Three groups of young people participated in the study with average ages of 12 (N = 107), 14 (N = 153) and 16 years (N = 133). A...
Article
Full-text available
Research has shown that children's beliefs about the causes of psychological problems are related to their attitudes and reactions towards affected peers. This study describes the development of the Children's Attributions about Psychological Problems in their Peers (CAPPP) Scale, which assesses children's beliefs about the causes of an internalizi...
Article
Full-text available
Within modular degrees it is sometimes possible for students to broaden their education by taking modules from outside their main programme of study. This is one significant aspect of modular degrees which has not been studied. In an effort to better understand this issue, the research reported in this paper explored the experiences: (1) of student...
Article
Full-text available
Research Findings: The aim of this longitudinal study was to explore peer relationships across the transition from preschool to school. Participants were 35 (17 male) children attending the Irish preschool initiative Early Start (M age = 49.31 months). Sociometric measures were employed on two occasions: at the end of preschool and in the first yea...
Article
Background The present study examines understanding of challenging behaviour among a sample of children and adolescents with a moderate intellectual disability, and investigates their behavioural intentions towards peers with challenging behaviour. Methods The study involved the collection of quantitative and qualitative data. In the quantitative p...
Article
Full-text available
Background:  The aim of the present study was to explore children’s beliefs about the causes of psychological problems and their beliefs about potential sources of help for peers experiencing these problems. Despite its importance this is an area that has received relatively little attention from researchers.Methods:  One hundred and sixteen childr...
Article
There is a widespread consensus in the literature that children who have psychological problems are more likely than other children to be excluded or rejected by their peers. The existence of this phenomenon has been established, primarily with the use of research on their sociometric status within groups of peers. Much less research has been perfo...
Article
Although there has been a growing interest in research on bullying in the last decade the majority of studies have used definitions of bullying and victimisation derived from researchers' perceptions of the problem. The aim of the present study was to examine pupils' definitions of bullying in school. The participants were 166 pupils in the top two...
Article
Full-text available
To review and synethize the research material on focus groups with children and adolescents and to provide guidelines for future development. Psychlit, Medline, and Cinahl electronic databases, as well as the reference lists of those articles consulted, were reviewed for information regarding focus groups with participants under the age of 18 years...
Article
This study examined the effects of a 120-hour preschool training course on caregivers’ behavior and children’s development in early-years settings. Sixteen caregivers attending this training course and 17 comparison caregivers were assessed on a measure of caregiver sensitivity in the child-care centers in which they were employed. Sixty-eight chil...
Article
In recent years there has been a growing interest in methods of eliciting children's views on factors influencing their lives. When children's views are sought it is important that this is done in a developmentally appropriate manner with instruments whose psychometric properties are known. The present review describes a variety of methods that hav...
Article
The article presents the results of a study which explored the use of the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) in preschool settings in Ireland. The ECERS was used as an observation instrument in sixteen pre‐schools, a questionnaire was used to determine whether the ECERS items reflect parents ‘priorities and interviews were conducted w...
Article
This paper gives background information on early childhood services in Ireland and presents the results of a survey of the preschool experiences of 1065 children. The results of the survey suggest that the majority of children experienced some form of early childhood service before starting school. The most common service was a playgroup although a...
Article
This review presents a discussion of the results of studies which have measured the effects of early day care participation on the development of school-age children. The studies are varied in their aims and methodology and they span a 40 year period of time. Although the findings are diverse it is argued that there are consistencies. For example,...
Article
In a randomised trial involving 13,079 liveborn children intrapartum care by electronic fetal heart rate monitoring, with scalp blood sampling when indicated, was associated with a 55% reduction in neonatal seizures. Reassessment, when aged 4, of the 9 children in the intensively monitored group and 21 in the control group who survived after neonat...
Article
Full-text available
SUMMARY This paper is based on a study of undergraduates, enrolled in a large, multi-disciplined Irish University and choosing elective modules from outside their primary programme of study. The emphasis is on an elucidation of factors motivating students in making such choices. In total, 820 valid responses to an on-line survey were analysed; this...

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Projects (5)
Project
This projects aims to explore the mental and physical well-being of young people aged between 12 and 25 years during the Covid19 outbreak. It also aims to explore the impact of this event on young people's lives. We will also collect data from young people living with chronic illness and/or disabilities.
Project
This project aims to explore the personal perceptions of children and adolescents with obesity and their parent/guardian on a variety of factors relating to quality of life, strengths and difficulties. These factors are social connectedness, family connectedness, behaviour and adverse experiences in a population of children and adolescents and their parents. The study will entail both quantitative (questionnaires) and qualitative (interviews) data collection. The incidence of stigma and bullying is well documented within the paediatric obesity population. However, how this is experienced by young people and their families is less clear. An initial understanding of how these complex factors interact and are experienced by children and their families is important for treatment implications of this population.